Category Archives: Reviews by Jenny

STAND (Bleeding Stars #6) by A.L. JACKSON

Standalone in Series – Emotional Rock star romance

SYNOPSIS

Zachary Kennedy has never been known as a fighter, but he’ll never regret fighting for her…

I’m Zee Kennedy.
Quiet. Reserved. Predictable.
When my brother died, everyone thought I was just the good guy who stepped up to take his place in the band.

No one knew what I was hiding. The one thing I’ve been fighting for.

For seven years, I’ve never lost focus.

Not until one chance encounter with Alexis Kensington.

Now she’s become my greatest temptation.
I knew better than to touch her, but now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t get enough.
Her kiss becomes my air. Her body my salvation.

She needed a savior and somehow she became mine.

Taking her was a betrayal. But keeping her means risking everything.
One look at Alexis Kensington, and I know she’s worth the fight.
Will my past continue to keep me down or will I finally find the strength to pull myself up and Stand…

STAND is available to purchase below

                    


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 Stars

‘Agony cut through me. A dull, bitter blade. The desperation to save someone who didn’t want to be saved.’

The beauty of AL Jackson’s words shone through this highly emotional and passionate romance which had our hearts breaking and our eyes welling up throughout. The writing was flawless and we felt every single word. Stand is the last book in the Bleeding Stars series and can be read as a standalone. This is a series that has stolen our book reading hearts.

‘Every inch of the man was a sublime contradiction. His entire demeanour serenity and war. Peace and strife. As if the man bore the scars of a thousand battles and still managed to look past the brutality of the world.’

This is Zee’s – the drummer boy of Sunder- story and wow has this man had a tragic past, a past he’s still living with heavy guilt, responsibility and paying an unrealistic debt to his brother. His heart is huge and pure despite having suffered tremendously. AL Jackson sure put us through it with his story, she made our hearts break into pieces. We fell in utter love with Zee and he held our hearts from page one till the last. A quiet stillness of a man with a storm brewing inside. A gentle giant living the consequences of his past. Living someone else’s life out of responsibility giving up on all personal dreams and hope.

‘An angel. The brightest light in the midst of my darkness. Starshine…I couldn’t get lost in this girl. But there was a part of me that wanted to do it anyway. Give up and give in.’

Sometimes we meet our soul mate when we least expect it. Alexis is a beautiful young woman who fights to live and grabs life by the hands. She’s suffering under the life of her twin sister’s demise into a life of violence, despair and harrowing distress. Finding herself in a dire situation which could have disturbing consequences, she’s saved by Zee who happens upon her and an immediate bond is formed. What comes from this fateful night is a road fraught with personal battles and open wounds. It’s captivatingly sad yet hopeful too insofar that love is persevering if you place your trust and faith in it.

“Do you feel it, Alexis? It’s about tapping into the emotion. The pain. The joy. The love. The lust.”

We fell in love with this story, not wanting it to end yet desperately wanting love and forgiveness to win out. Having read the last two books in this series we are needing to read the rest as Sunder is a group of lads who stole our hearts and we’re now desperate to hear everyone’s stories.

“Living is a choice. We decide how we wake up each morning and face the day. Either we’re led by hope or ruled by fear. And I won’t let circumstances define me. Maybe I’m a fool, because I will stand or I will fall, but I will never, ever allow fear to clip my wings.”


THE BLEEDING STARS SERIES by A.L. JACKSON
(Please note: Books #4-6 (Wait, Stay, & Stand) are Bleeding Stars stand-alone novels.)

A STONE IN THE SEA – BOOK ONE – FREE

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DROWNING TO BREATHE – BOOK TWO

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WHERE LIGHTNING STRIKES – BOOK THREE

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WAIT – BOOK FOUR (Standalone)

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STAY – BOOK FIVE (Standalone)

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STAND – BOOK SIX (Standalone)

                    

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, A L Jackson, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

BREAKING GIANTS by L M HALLORAN :: REVIEW

Standalone Rock Star Romance

SYNOPSIS
A rockstar romance unlike any you’ve read before…

When I meet Julian Ashburn, the reclusive frontman of indie-rock legends Breaking Giants, I do what any sane woman would do. Embarrass myself, then insult him. Because you only live once, right?

Besides, keeping my distance from the enigmatic, songwriting genius is an act of self-preservation. Julian is dangerous—a pool of kerosine to my pyromaniac. I have a weakness for broken men.

But sometimes the stories we tell and the songs we sing—about family, love, and ourselves—have to be rewritten in order for us to grow. Call it Fate, or stars aligning, or cosmic accident, but I’m about to find out that of the two of us, Julian isn’t the broken one.

The greatest love songs break your heart.

If you’re lucky, they heal it, too.

BREAKING GIANTS is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“It’s like a fairytale.”
“I don’t know any fairytales that are as dark and twisted as this one.”

Music owns our souls with rock star romances being one of our favourite things. There’s just something about this theme that really catches our attention, though to be honest, it’s also one we find can be a bit of a hit and miss, mainly because,  the focus sometimes sides heavily on the romance aspect, forgetting the all-important musical experience we crave. We love to be wooed as much by the musical feeling of the story as the romantic entanglement therein.

‘My body is a song – he knows every note.’

L.M. Halloran is a new to us author and the tagline of her synopsis especially grabbed our attention. How could we not be seduced by…’A rockstar romance unlike any you’ve read before’.. Yep, we HAD to read it with that statement.

We really enjoyed Breaking Giants (great name for a band by the way) and we’re pleased to say L.M. Halloran did deliver on both the romance and the musical aspect of the story, with a good dose of angst, though we don’t feel this rock star romance delivered on the ‘unlike anything we’ve read before’ promise we had hoped, though saying that we have devoured a lot of rock star reads over the years!

‘I watch, silent and empty, as my happiness leaves, slamming the front door behind him.’

The heart and soul of the music was most definitely prevalent throughout this story which told of the on/off sizzling attraction between lead singer of the Breaking Giants, Julian Ashburn and Rose Cunningham, who runs a coffee shop in Seattle and is the daughter of a music producer father and a famed singer/songwriter mother. Both of who, have sadly passed.

Did fate have a hand in Rose and Julian’s destiny? And if so, fate was given a bitch of a job with these two fighting every step of the way! Timing, feelings, commitments, the planets not being in alignment…it seemed everything conspired to put a cog in the wheels of this union.

‘He is a craving beyond my control. A mental obsession.’

Breaking Giants is beautifully written with us experiencing the soul searching and healing needed between Rose and Julian, both of whom were weighed down by baggage from their past and their push/pull relationship certainly delivered some angst!

27 year old Rose is the living legacy of addiction. Being the daughter of a deceased drug addict mother who instilled a belief in the singer/songwriter Rose that love was responsible for the death of art. That love was the killer of all happiness. A belief Rose carried from her young impressionable 13 year old self.

‘Music is the only lover that will never leave you, Rose.’

32 year old Julian, also has issues as a reformed alcoholic, he’s been through the mill, seen the downside of life, and even though he’s part of a hugely successful band, he prefers to be more of a  recluse, leaving the spotlight to his mates, his fellow band members Matt, Jackson and Nick.

We really felt the creative souls beneath these characters and we felt their pain, though we didn’t quite experience the emotional intensity we would have hoped considering the trauma both characters had lived through.  We loved the Seattle setting which brought a life force to the story, the secondary characters were delightful, and the epilogue delivered an unexpected surprise, culminating in perfectly beautiful way to end the story.  A highly enjoyable rock star romance!

4 Stars

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Filed under 4 Stars, L M Halloran, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

CHILDREN OF VICE (Children Of Vice #1) by J J McAVOY


REVIEW :: CHILDREN OF VICE by J J McAVOY 
Gritty, raw Mafia romance spin off from Ruthless People Series

First in the series spin off from the Ruthless People series. You do not have to read Ruthless People series beforehand but we LOVE this series and recommend it!
Now it’s time to revel in the reign of the Callahan children…

SYNOPSIS

I, Ethan Antonio Giovanni Callahan, first son of the former head of the Irish mob, Liam Alec Callahan, and former head of the Italian mafia, ex-governor, Melody Nicci Giovanni Callahan, solemnly swear to ruthlessly protect our family name, business and way of life, no matter the cost to me or anyone else. I shall show no mercy; I shall offer no forgiveness; there will be no peace for those who stand against me.

I will live for my family.
I will kill for my family.
I will marry for my family.

I, Ivy O’Davoren, the only daughter of Shay O’Davoren, solemnly swear to ruthlessly and mercilessly exact revenge on the Callahans and all those who betrayed my father and family.

I will live for revenge.
I will kill for revenge.
I will marry for revenge.

           CHILDREN OF VICE is available to purchase below

          


**Spoiler Free Review by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 stars

‘The Belladonna and the Mani di forbice.’
‘The beautiful poison and the duel blades.’

We’ve read every single JJ McAvoy book, and bar one, we’ve loved and fallen in love with every single one. Her stories are compelling and an indulgence we love to partake in. This is a spin-off of the Ruthless People series featuring the children of Liam and Melody Callahan. Whilst this series can be read on it’s own, we highly recommend reading the Ruthless People Series, as not only is it one of our all-time favourite mafia/mobster series, you’ll also get much more out of this series.

‘To repent they must be sorry. To be sorry they must feel pain. So let there be pain.’

Without question, this Author excels at writing intensely intriguing and downright exciting mobster stories. She’s one of our all-time favourites. The Children of Vice series features the stories of adult siblings- Ethan, Donatella and Wyatt Callahan.

‘Fury. Wrath. Rage. Death. Ethan, at this very moment, was all of those things, personified in silence.’

This first book is Ethan Callahan’s story- the oldest brother. Now, if you’ve read Ruthless People you know what kind of childhood this boy had and as the head of the family you know the shoes he has to fill. If not, the Author does a good job of catching the reader up. If you know us, you know we absolutely love our anti-heroes and they don’t come much more anti than this man. He is a power of reckoning, meticulous in his revenge and powerful in his planning. Nothing fazes him. You could say he is as cold as ice with no second thought to when and how as long as it plays out in favour and as he planned it, using other lives as collateral or weapons with an almost domino effect. He is incredible- he is cold in his ruthlessness. The pressure and weight on his shoulders is immense and he knows no other way nor a different life.

‘Ivy O’Davoren was mine, and now the whole world would know.’

Who in their possible right mind could be with a man like Ethan or possibly live up to the role as wife of the ultimate mastermind, the puppet master: Mani di forbice? Well, we couldn’t imagine, yet there she was; Ivy O’Davoren – the belladonna. This woman is fierce, wronged, cold and accepting of the fates. Their story was on the edge of your seat reading. Every so often our jaws dropped as the plot unfolded. Surprising twists and secrets revealed. Over the top? Absolutely! However, there is no question that sometimes over the top works as it satisfies a craving that needs to be filled.

“…the world isn’t black or white. Sometimes you need to do bad to do good and worse to do even better. The Callahan’s made themselves the worst. The money, the fame, the power was built on blood and bones. Why? Because no one else could do it.”

We couldn’t put this book down for love nor money, it was truly compelling and gripping. JJ McAvoy has such a talent for balancing darkness with humour -in the sense that- something horrific could’ve just happened yet the sarcastic wit and almost dark comedic timing immediately veils the sombre somewhat melancholy mood. Sibling relationships are hard at the best of time, however, if you’re siblings at the top of a mobster dynasty; the spotlight and responsibilities heightens and results in dire consequence. And so the series continues in the next book which is Donatella’s story and wow…..we are dying to find out what happens next!

“That is the tragedy of women born with the ambitions of men.”

So why not a 5 star? Well, Children of Vice would have been a 5 star for us if not for the editing issues as well as some timeline issues that distracted us from the story at times. We have mentioned the editing issue before which seem to have continually plagued this Author since book one. We do hope she finds a good one that can sort this continuing problem out for her because her brilliant stories deserve no less.

“They said the Callahan’s are greedy and selfish, power hungry thugs who don’t care about their own people anymore.”
“They’re right.”


THE RUTHLESS PEOPLE SERIES READING ORDER

Ruthless People

The Ruthless People Series is available to purchase below

Ruthless People Book One (Currently Free) :  Amazon us | Amazon uk | Our review
 The Untouchables Book Two : Amazon us || Amazon uk || Our review
American Savages Book Three : Amazon us || Amazon uk || Our review
A Bloody Kingdom Book Four : Amazon us || Amazon uk

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, J J McAvoy, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE REAL DIRTY DUET by MEGHAN MARCH :: DUAL SPOILER FREE REVIEW

A sexy country music themed romantic duet.

SYNOPSIS – REAL DIRTY BOOK ONE

I have everything a guy could want—a new single burning up the charts, more money than a simple country boy could spend, and a woman I’m planning to marry.
Until she doesn’t show up for my proposal.
The life I thought was so perfect, isn’t.
The guy who thought he had everything, doesn’t.
I’ve got my heart on lockdown, but life sends me straight into the path of a mouthy bartender who puts me in my place.
Now the only place I want to put her is under me.
I thought I was done with love, but maybe I’m just getting started.

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SYNOPSIS – REAL SEXY – BOOK TWO

Country music star Boone Thrasher has never walked away from a fight, and he’s willing to put everything on the line to win the woman he can’t live without in the conclusion to the Real Dirty Duet by USA Today bestselling author Meghan March.

In Nashville, country stars are a dime a dozen.
I swore I’d never get caught up with one, but Boone Thrasher made a liar out of me.
I said I’d never put my heart on the line, but he didn’t ask before he stole it.
Now we’re facing my worst fears, and we’ll see if this country boy is tough enough to see it through.
Girls like me don’t get happily ever afters… but maybe he’ll prove that wrong too.

THE REAL DIRTY DUET is available to purchase below

          


**Spoiler Free Review** by Jenny & Gitte

Book One : 4 Stars /Book Two : 4.5 Stars

“Girls like me don’t get happily-ever-afters.” “I’m just gonna have to prove you wrong then.”

We’ve been itching to read something from Meghan March for a while now, so when asked if we wanted to read her latest Duet, we checked out the synopsis, loved the sound of it, and of course we jumped at the chance.

The Real Dirty Duet delivered exactly what it promised, and just what we were in the mood for. A steamy, entertaining and effortless story that provided a pleasing balance of heat, emotion, drama, fun and even a little suspense and whodunit to keep us guessing. Not to mention a swoony warm-hearted alpha hero and a sassy yet sweet heroine. What more could we ask for?

“I’m gonna spoil you, Ripley Fisher. It’s about time someone did, and I’m privileged to have the opportunity.” Boone takes advantage of my momentary speechlessness to wrap a hand around the back of my neck and slide his lips along mine. “Kiss me, sugar. I’ve missed the taste of you.”

After reading this Duet, we’re happy to declare ourselves Meghan March fans, wanting to devour more of her books especially after getting a little tease of the characters from those previous stories. Colour us intrigued about one character in particular…he sounds like a right bad arse hottie!

Now, back to the main characters. Let’s start with thirty two year old, Boone Thrasher, the sexy straight-shooting, dirty talking bad boy country crooner who could melt panties with a smirk and a glance! Oh swoony Booney! What a man! If you love your hero’s all hot alpha with a bit of softness, then Boone is it! On the one hand, a right Southern gentleman and Mama’s boy raised in a loving family, with a soft heart, and on the other side a sexy commanding man with a dirty mouth and an even dirtier tongue! And boy does he know how to use it! Whether it was being as sweet as sugar or tantalising teasing and durrrty, Superstar was deeeeeliciously and didn’t disappoint! A sinfully sexy talented man in more ways than one!

“I don’t want you on your knees. I want that pussy on my face.”

Twenty nine year old, Ripley Fisher was a fabulously strong heroine who wasn’t afraid to dish out as good as she got from Boone. She could go toe to toe with him and not back down from a fight which was just as well, because in the beginning Boone was a bit of a cock, tripping over his words and getting Ripley’s back up…..but this sassy sexy lady was only too happy to put ol’ Boone in his place

“You’re in my life, Ripley. It doesn’t’ matter how it happened, but it happened.”

We loved this Duet! Really, what’s not to love? It was fabulous in every way; from the characters, to the story, to the writing. We were invested in Boone and Ripley’s story from start to finish. We loved the family dynamics on both sides (though Ripley sure did get the short end of the stick with her horrid bunch), found the story flowed effortlessly, the Nashville setting drew us in, the banter was spot on and giggle worthy, the sex was off the charts hot and the writing was fabulous in every way!

“You don’t need me, Ripley. I now that for a fact. So I’m gonna make you want me instead.”

The first book built the story beautifully, the second book brought a few surprises making us glad we got to read this duet in one go as we feel the flow wouldn’t have worked so well if we’d had to wait between books, so we definitely recommend reading them both together. Boone, Ripley and the gang provided hours of fun and sexy entertainment as we lost ourselves in their story! And yay, we’ve found ourselves another author to fall in love with! Meghan March has won us over! 

“Jesus, you’re built like a beast.”
“No more than you’re built like a bombshell.”

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Meghan March, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

LOVE ME IN THE DARK by MIA ASHER :: REVIEW

Standalone – emotional second chance at love

SYNOPSIS

Two strangers in Paris …
One passionate, earth-shattering kiss.

He was the artist upstairs
with the tantalizing smile and laughing eyes.

He was the devil inviting me to sin,
seducing me to dance in the bright moonlight.

He was desire and need.

When he touched me, my body sang.
My soul came alive.

But I belonged to another man,
and he didn’t want to let me go.

LOVE ME IN THE DARK is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4 Stars

“Maybe in another life we’ll meet again and get it right. But whatever happens, you will always remain my one perfect memory, my one perfect dream. I love you, my beautiful man.”

Well didn’t Mia Asher just wow us with her words, so flawless, enticing, fluid and vivid. We were swept away in this heart-breaking yet hope filled love story. It was compulsive reading. Whilst for us, Mia Asher is known for her high angst and kindle throwing; this was neither. The balance was perfect and the mood went from highly emotional, to swoony to frustratingly heart-breaking to…..well let’s just say it was a highly passionate and exciting ride.

‘My arms outstretched, I’d danced to the vibrant music of life. I prayed for romance, adventure, the unknown. I wanted to fall in love and love to the point of no return. I wanted the turmoil, the stress, the upheaval, and chaos…’

Valentina is a wild fire, loving life and everything it has to offer- a girl with a grandiose life perspective.  Life is an adventure and she’s wanting to grab it by the scruff of the neck, wringing every drop of enjoyment out of it. Then she meets William and is swept away by this enigmatic man’s attention and love. Where Valentina’s joy was life, it’s a far cry from where she finds herself 12 years later, suddenly alone in an apartment in Paris, married and lonely, questioning every aspect of her life and marriage to William.

‘If Valentina were mine, I would have moved heaven and earth to get to her. Because when you finally find something worth living for, you fight until there isn’t one more drop of blood left in you.’

When Valentina finds herself at a crossroad the unexpected presence of the mysterious Sebastian throws a naked spotlight on her deepest fears and where her place is in life. A man who throws everything up in the air and awakens her to who she really is, who she was and who she lost.

‘She reminds me of the sea; untamed, unpredictable, but beautiful, so damn beautiful.’

Sebastian was divine and his story heart-breaking. Two lost souls meeting when the timing is everything but right. Or is it? Is it the much needed catalyst for healing and reawakening? Is this accidental meeting what sparks the ultimate unveiling of lies, deceptions and tragedy?

‘He kisses me like he’s dying and my lips are kiss last breath. It’s a kiss that rearranges the stars in my own little galaxy, setting my life in a new course, changing my destiny. And if I crash and burn like a falling star, what does it matter when for this brief instant I’m in his arms? For the first time in a very long time, there isn’t ice inside of me. Instead, there’s a bright, hot, blazing fire.’

We have to say the first half of this book had us enthralled and we were feeling every moment- every word. Whilst we absolutely loved it, there came a point where it went in a direction that felt like an abrupt story change that ended up feeling quite rushed belying the beauty and romance of what came before. It almost felt like the addition derailed it somewhat which is such a shame as we were absolutely loving this story. That being said, Mia Asher is an incredible story-teller and there’s a real accomplished beauty and flawless control to her writing.

‘This. This is life. This is love. Feel it all. Feel him and believe. Believe. Believe.’

✲✲✲


arsen

TBB Also recommends
ARSEN – A Broken Love Story
The angsty standalone by Mia Asher

SYNOPSIS

One glance was all it took…

I’m a cheater.
I’m a liar.
My whole life is a mess.

I love a man.
No, I love two men…
I think.

One makes love to me. The other sets me on fire.
One is my rock. The other is my kryptonite.

I’m broken, lost, and disgusted with myself.

But I can’t stop. This is my story.
My broken love story.

ARSEN – A BROKEN LOVE STORY is available to purchase below

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Filed under 4 Stars, Mia Asher, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny